Matavén River

Characteristics of the Matavén River Basin

The Matavén River, located in Vichada Department, is a small tributary of the Orinoco that originates in the low plain forests of the transitional Amazon biome and stretches 630 km in length. It is the least transformed of all sub-basins with only 1,173 ha (1%) of the basin impacted by human activities. The Matavén basin is dominated by tropical rainforests, but also includes other ecosystem types such as flooded forests and flooded savannas. The main threat to the basin is growing exploitation of natural resources through activities such as hunting and overfishing.

The Matavén has the best health in the Orinoco

The Matavén River Basin received an overall A grade (87%), the highest of all the sub-basins within the Colombian portion of Orinoco River Basin. Of the eight indicators assessed, all were excellent (>80%) except for human nutrition (53%) which despite its moderate score was still the best score for this indicator in the Orinoco River Basin. Perfect scores were achieved for risks to water quality, water supply and demand, natural land cover, and mining in sensitive ecosystems. Though this basin received exceptional grades, there are major data gaps that need to be filled. Currently IDEAM’s National Network Monitoring has not water quality monitoring sites for the river. Additionally, no biodiversity data was available for this version of the report card, making this is a priority area of research for future report cards.